16 March 2022
How Your Employer Can Help You Navigate The Cost Of Living Crisis
We are in the middle of a cost of living crisis, and one of the most brutal lifestyle hammerings the UK has seen in decades. Inflation at a 30-year high, an imminent national insurance hike and energy prices about to sky-rocket are all combining to panic householders into drastic spending reviews and a clinical analysis of where they can save day-to-day costs. A freeze on income tax is also set to limit any financial freedom for working people in 2022, so what is out there to help?
Until the economic outlook appears rosier for the average UK householder they are resigned to cutting costs in their lifestyle, but they can also look to an unlikely source for help, and not in the traditional way. This might not be the time to be asking for a pay rise, but your employer can still help you financially. Modern employers run various schemes aimed at helping employees with everyday perks and benefits, but also they help in attracting and retaining good employees in a competitive jobs market. Such schemes are often hiding in plain sight and will help with budgeting as we navigate the cost of living crisis, so ask your employer what they can offer amongst these:
- Salary Sacrifice Car Schemes
If your employer runs a salary sacrifice scheme you can enjoy non-cash benefits for a number of things, but salary sacrifice car schemes are the most popular. In return for an agreed portion of your salary you can enjoy driving a brand new electric vehicle under a lease agreement and enjoy tax-free benefits also. This is cheaper than buying a car and means your standard of living is actually improved, because the spec of car you can afford is better when leasing, compared to buying.
- Interest-free loans for travel
Some employers offer to pay the upfront cost of a rail season ticket, which works out cheaper than paying for tickets daily or monthly. This will commit you to turning up for work of course, and you pay your employer back over time through your salary. It is also possible to utilise a ‘cycle to work’ scheme if you want to improve your carbon footprint at the same time, whereby your employer pays for the cost of a new bike, and you repay them interest-free.
- Tax-free benefits
There are a number of perks and benefits that an employer can offer tax-free, which include mobile phones and childcare vouchers. If you work from home you can also apply for a tax rebate on purchases such as home office equipment and paying for broadband.
- Healthcare allowances
Money off routine healthcare check-ups is quite an established perk, but obviously take-up on this is considerably increasing at the moment. Your employer can offer a scheme to get you discounts on eye tests and dental check-ups with varying levels of cover.
- Discount schemes
Another very common scheme is to offer money-off vouchers for various high street stores and businesses. These can include retail stores but also local businesses such as gym memberships. These can also extend to other everyday necessities such as home and car insurance.
- Holiday allowances
With employers tackling many different HR issues resulting from the pandemic, selling un-used holidays back to the business has become common practice. Ask your employer if this is possible, as it could boost your take-home pay at a crucial time.
Many employers are also offering other perks such as flexible working hours and boosting pension contributions, which may not appear to directly help your everyday budgeting but do offer some financial leeway long term, and allow you to breathe more easily throughout the current situation. If a salary sacrifice car scheme appeals to you, speak to the experts at Pink Salary Exchange and we can help you and your employer on the road to crucial cost savings, and a better standard of motoring at a time when such creature comforts really matter.